Do you have questions about Myopia? This Myopia FAQ might have your answer. But if you still have questions, contact us online, call us or make an appointment to ask your question.

What is Myopia?

Normal eyes focus light properly at the back of the eye, called the retina. People with Myopia have elongated eyes, which causes the light from far away objects to focus in front of the retina, causing the vision to be blurry.

Moving an object closer causes the eye to focus the light further back towards the retina, resulting in clear vision without having to use the focusing muscles in the eye. This “Near sight” gives the condition its more common name, “nearsightedness”.

What Is The Myopia Epidemic?

Genetics has long been suspected to be a major cause of Myopia, and was generally responsible for a large percentage of Myopia cases, especially when diagnosed at a very early age. But in the last 40 years, the incidence of Myopia has been increasing rapidly, indicating that the higher rates of Myopia cannot be solely due to genetics.

Studies in the US and Internationally have shown that this Myopia Epidemic is due to several factors, the strongest of which is that people are spending less time outdoors and more time indoors looking at screens, including computers, tablets, and especially phones.

Worldwide in 2010, approximately 25% of the population had Myopia. In 2020, it is estimated that 33% will have Myopia. In 1972, about 21% of the US population had Myopia. In 2010, approximately 42% of the population has some level of Myopia. Estimates are that today, maybe as much as half the population has Myopia.

What is High Myopia

High Myopia is the term used to describe severe cases of Myopia. The amount of correction an eye requires to see clearly is called a diopter. Negative diopters (-1.00, -2.00 and so on) indicate Myopia. High Myopia is the term used to describe vision correction of -5.00 diopters or more. High Myopia very often starts early in life, progresses rapidly, and has a genetic component. It can also be dangerous and result in higher risks for several other eye diseases.

What Is The Difference Between Myopia and Hyperopia

Myopia (nearsightedness) means you can see close objects clearly, but cannot see distant objects clearly. Hyperiopia is also known as farsightedness, and means that you can see distant objects clearly, but near objects are unclear.

Who Gets Myopia

Myopia most often develops in school-age children. And while anyone can get Myopia, it is more common among children of parents with Myopia. However, recent research shows that the leading factor in Myopia is lack of outdoor time, particularly among children. The more time that we spend indoors, looking at small screens that are very close to our eyes, the more likely we are to develop Myopia.

What are the Symptoms of Myopia?

Many Myopia Symptoms are similar to, or can be confused with symptoms of other vision problems.

  • Difficulty seeing distant objects clearly, while still having good vision for objects that are close. 
  • Frequent squinting. Individual’s with Myopia tend to squint as a way to help focus better on distant objects. 
  • Headaches. Blurry vision and constant eye strain can lead to headaches and are associated with Myopia.
  • Trouble driving at night. Myopia makes it difficult to see at a distance, which gets worse at night.

Is Myopia Progressive?

Generally, yes. The onset of Myopia is most common among children, when their eyes are still growing. During this time, your child’s habits and environment greatly influence the eye’s development. Frequent viewing of close objects cause the eye’s shape to change in order to reduce the need for the focusing muscles to focus.

Is Myopia Dangerous?

When controlled, Myopia is not usually dangerous. But Myopia can be dangerous if uncontrolled and untreated because it can lead to other severe eye conditions:

  • People with -3.00 or greater Myopia 
    • 3x Higher Risk of Cataracts
    • 9x Higher Risk of Retinal Detachment: 
  • People with -5.00 of Myopia
    • 5x Higher Risk of Cataracts
    • 21x Higher Risk of Retinal Detachment
  • Anyone with Myopia: 
    • 40x Higher Risk of Macular degeneration 
    • 2-3x Higher Risk of Glaucoma

What Is Myopia Control?

Myopia Control and Myopia Management are terms used for the treatment of Myopia, specifically to help slow or stop the progression of Myopia.

How to Treat Myopia?

Different myopia treatments may be more effective for you, depending on the severity of your Myopia and the rate of its progression. Sometimes, a combination of treatments is best. We can determine what is best for you after an eye exam.

  • Outdoor time — the more time you spend outdoors, the better it is for your eyes. (Don’t forget your sunglasses!)
  • Atropine Eye Drops — help to reduce eye muscle fatigue.
  • Prescription glasses — for vision correction
  • NaturalVue(r) contact lenses — for vision correction and Myopia Control
  • Orthokeratology — for Myopia Control by reshaping your corneas

Orthokeratology treatment, or Ortho-K, is a non-surgical procedure that reshapes the cornea, and is very effective at reducing and reversing Myopia.

How is Myopia Diagnosed?

Regular eye exams allow your Optometrist to monitor the condition of your eyes and the progression of any eye condition over time. A Myopia Specialist like Dr. Barry Leonard and Associates will provide the best treatment possible for your unique vision problems. Make an appointment online or call us at 818-891-6711 today to make your appointment.